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The Power Of Hex—Every Unit Of This Bahamas’ Condo Development Has A Private Pool

The humble bumble bee holds the architectural inspiration behind this luxury Caribbean condo development.

By Jeff Vasishta January 4, 2017
Photo courtesy of B.I.G

If you live in the Bahamas, there are plenty of pools, Jacuzzi, and miles of crystal blue ocean for you to cool off in. And when has practicality ever stopped the rich? Over the top would be an understatement for a new hexagon-shaped condo development, comprising $5 million + apartments, that is so lavish that each balcony comes complete with its own private pool.

B.I.G. (Bjarke Ingels Group) is the company behind the striking piece of architecture, known at the “Honeycomb”—for obvious reasons. The unique design for apartments isn’t, it turns out, just for fun. There’s some serious mathematics going on behind it, which, coupled with the unique properties of the concrete used, make it possible to house balcony pools and summer kitchens. The Honeycomb will be the tallest structure in the Albany Marina, Nassau, visible  from every point of the resort and a dramatic visual landmark from the sea.

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In terms of innovative uses of concrete, this marks something of a watershed, a kind Alan Turing working out the German secret code for Enigma during the Second World War. No Germans were injured during its construction, though many wealthy Germans, along with other nationalities, are sure to benefit when it’s complete. In technical terms, the aim of the super strong concrete was “to control deflection and reduce self-weight,” said Bill O’Donnell, the project lead at DeSimone.

For this to occur, ”12-inch (300 millimeter) diameter tubes were embedded in a 17-inch (430 millimeter) thick conventionally reinforced roof slab.” These voids hollow out the slab, reducing its weight and increasing the section’s overall efficiency. This step also “eliminated the need for a post-tension slab, further reducing the overall weight and reducing the cost of the project.” It means that wealthy homeowners will be able to enjoy their cantilevered infinity pools without crashing through the floor.

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If all that sounds a little confusing, the method in B.I.G.’s hexagon madness was, as the shape suggests, based on the humble bumble bee’s homestead. Bees, it turns out, are some of the world’s greatest mathematicians and they knew the advantages of building in hexagons long before structural engineers paid for their expensive educations.

There are numerous hexagonal buildings around the world, not all designed in that shape for strictly architectural purposes. Yet “The Honeycomb” is the first to combine bee’s intelligence with a that of the concrete lab technicians’. A sweet combination.

Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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